News 06 Jul, 2020

Cyber Resilience - IACS Recommendation 2020

Chris South
Chris South
Senior Underwriter

The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) has published its Recommendation on Cyber Resilience (No.166)

This will assist owners as they review their Safety Management Systems for compliance with IMO Resolution “MSC 428/98 Cyber Risk Management in Safety Management Systems” which mandates that “cyber risks are appropriately addressed in safety management systems no later than the first annual verification of the Document of Compliance after 1 January 2021”.


This is  a simple standalone ISACS Recommendation which consolidates IACS’s previous twelve Recommendations related to cyber resilience. It applies “to the use of computer-based systems which provide control, alarm, monitoring, safety or internal communication functions which are subject to the requirements of a Classification society. This new recommendation is applicable to a vessel’s network systems using digital communication to interconnect systems within the ship and ship systems which can be accessed by equipment or networks off the ship”.

Meeting the challenge of building cyber resilience capability into onboard systems and those ashore is becoming an increasingly critical part of all business planning and operations. There will be a growing need for companies to be able to demonstrate to their customers, suppliers and insurers that they have cyber resilience built into their networks. The new IACS Recommendation and any subsequent revisions are likely to become the benchmarks against which shipowners will be assessed. 

Many owners and operators in the marine industry are without inhouse specialist IT teams and may therefore need to seek assistance in preparing their cyber resilience capability to meet the regulatory and commercial challengers ahead.

The West has responded to that need with its recently announced strategic partnership with Astaara, a cyber risk services company dedicated to providing integrated, holistic risk management solutions for the maritime industry. Full details of Astaara’s services can be found on our dedicated cyber webpage.

The IACS Recommendation can be accessed here.